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Appraisal News | AMC Directory
Appraisal industry news coverage, including stories about independence requirements, AVMs and appraiser fraud.


AMCs Warn Legislation Could Kill HVCC

TAVMA warns about federal and state legislation

Jan. 25, 2010

By MortgageDaily.com staff


Appraisal management companies are warning that pending legislation could roll back protections established by the Home Valuation Code of Conduct and put mortgage brokers back in contact with appraisers.

HVCC was established through a March 2008 agreement between New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the regulator of the two government-controlled firms -- the Federal Housing Finance Agency. It prohibits communication with appraisers by originators and loan production staff.

Similar requirements are being implemented for loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration.

In a news release today, the Title/Appraisal Vendor Management Association -- whose members include "40 of the largest" AMCs -- warned that proposed bill H.R. 1728 "would allow mortgage brokers to select handpicked appraisers and communicate with them regarding property values." TAVMA said similar legislation in pending in several states.

"The new bill, if passed, would reinstate business practices that have lead to appraiser pressure," today's statement said. "There is an inherent conflict of interest when appraisers are selected by referral sources that have a financial stake in the outcome of the appraisal."

AMCs have seen an increase in business as mortgage lenders have turned to such firms to maintain HVCC compliance.

TAVMA says 60 percent of residential appraisers work with AMCs.

The trade group disputed claims that AMCs hire unqualified out-of-market appraisers, noting that the average AMC appraiser is chosen based on local real estate expertise and travels 13 miles or less for appraisal assignments.

"AMCs offer clear methods to challenge an appraisal based on incorrect or incomplete comps being used," TAVMA stated. "AMC appraisers are licensed and bound by professional standards that prohibit them from taking assignments if they are unfamiliar with the locality or type of property."

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